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NATO stronger military potential at Russian borders causes concerns — defense ministry

December 24, 2014, 15:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“Under the slogan of Russian threat, NATO is building its military potential in the Baltic States, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania,” Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said
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NATO military exercise in Lithuania

NATO military exercise in Lithuania

© AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis

MOSCOW, December 24. /TASS/. Intensification of NATO activities at Russian borders causes concerns at the Russian Defense Ministry, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov told reporters on Wednesday.

“Under the slogan of Russian threat, NATO is building its military potential in the Baltic States, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania,” the deputy defense minister noted.

He noted that the number of tanks was on the rise in Europe, and activity of alliance’s aviation which was now based in the Estonian city of Emery “grew sharply.”

The number of flights by NATO tactical aircraft at Russian borders more than doubled this year, exceeding three thousand flights, Antonov recalled. Reconnaissance jets have also made nearly the double number of flights over Baltic and Barents Seas with 258 flights in 2013 and 480 in 2014.

Cooperation between Russian and NATO suspended

Russia’s Defense Ministry remains “calm” although the international military cooperation between Russia and the North-Atlantic Alliance has been suspended, Antonov said on Wednesday.

“Relations in the military sphere with NATO in 2014 were frozen upon the initiative of the alliance. Such a decision was unilaterally taken in Brussels. This was intended to 'punish' Russia for its readiness to defend its national interests,” he said.

The official said the cooperation in the military sphere should be mutually beneficial and on an equal basis, and develop on condition of trust between partners.

Antonov added that Russia’s foreign partners have halted the implementation of several projects which have proved successful over the past few years.

“This is the fight against piracy, counteracting terrorism and security in Afghanistan and neighboring region,” he said, adding that an initiative on cooperation in the air space which tackled air piracy has been also suspended.

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